Elon University’s Contemporary Chamber Ensemble will be performing at 2 p.m. Sept. 24 in the CFA Black Box. The performance will have a focus of music under the category of “contemporary music”.
The ensemble was created in 2021 by director Jonathan Poquette, who said he was inspired by artistic advisor for the ensemble, Andy Hudson, and the restrictions they both felt when it came to performing contemporary music.
“Contemporary music isn’t really championed or put forth in this part of the region,” Poquette said. “How can we make it more of a culture here on campus, in Elon?”
Poquette also said he set out to give the audience a look at a different kind of music that has a different feeling compared to what concert bands and other ensembles usually play. He said he hopes this upcoming show will get people to understand the style and eventually grow into loving the music.
“Contemporary music can be something that people, at first, say ‘Well, I don’t like that,’” Poquette said. “Music taste can be developed, but it takes time, it takes knowledge, and it takes risks on the listeners’ perspective to get into that uncomfortability of ‘Hmm, what’s going on? Do I really like that or not? Why?’ and not just taking it for face value.”
Isaac Pyatt, percussionist of the group, also expressed this sentiment. He joined the ensemble last fall and said he has enjoyed the challenge of playing multiple drums at one time. He also said the nontraditional way in which the music is played makes him really enjoy the music.
“The only limitations are what the composer's imagination is,” Pyatt said.
Pyatt also said there were so many changes involved when playing contemporary music that it can sound completely different from one performance to another.
“When we rehearse that piece and when we perform that piece, it’s gonna be two very different ways that that piece is going to sound,” Pyatt said.
The performance Sunday will include four songs that fall under the contemporary music banner. The performance will feature players outside of the Elon faculty, including a pianist from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro and a violinist from Ohio.